Foot Notes: Setting the example


One of the easiest positions to play in sports is the armchair quarterback.

That’s someone, usually in a seated position far away from the action, who has a vocal opinion or critique about the play on the field.

We’ve all played this role, to varying degrees, at one time or another. But while many armchair QB for the pros, I find myself doing it for my kids’ teams.

No, I’m not a “Karen” at the games, but on the drive home I do tend to bounce between positive reinforcement and long-winded suggestions of drills and other methods that could spur improvements. And by the time we get back to the house, there is often an understanding and acknowledgement of all the hard work that needs to be done.

But once we step out of that car and into the comfort and AC of our home, the mindset changes almost instantly. One kid is jumping on a video call with his friends and the other is throwing on headphones to play a game on her tablet. I usually remain in step with the kids and use the opportunity to settle in for work on my laptop.

All the things we talked about in the car, and the motivation to do them, fade away as the minutes turn into hours. Pretty soon we’re halfway through the week and shocked to realize that absolutely no work has been done on the field. Next comes the predictable lackluster game, and the ensuing talk in the car.

It’s a tough cycle to break, but it can be broken. Not with your words, but rather your physical actions and the example you set.

Instead of telling your kids to pass the soccer ball with the inside of their feet, bring them outside and show them. And don’t just leave them there with a job to do. Conduct the drill, work up a good sweat, and try to improve upon the skill yourself. You might just find that some of the “fundamentals” we’ve come to expect from our kids are harder than they appear.

We’re still in the infancy of this “get out and do it” mentality, but I can already see differences in not only my kids’ performance, but also in the attitude which I approach my own training. When I’m falling apart during a run, I try to think of advice that I would give my kids in the same situation: Calm the breathing, focus on technique, and perhaps slow down. When I catch myself cheating on pushups or squats, I think about how it would look if someone was watching me, and then take a deep dive into the next rep.

My point is this: If you spend your free time standing around and scrolling on your phone, don’t be offended as your kids grow up doing the exact same thing. On the flip side, if your children observe you training with laser-sharp focus, you might just end up with a few fans. And maybe even a future competitor or two.


Summer officially kicked off in Shippensburg with the Solstice 5K/10K, and runners from the Local.News area were happy to be there to celebrate.

The 10K race featured four Top 10 finishes from Franklin County runners, with Greencastle’s Lindsay Bingaman taking the top female spot in 45:34. Chambersburg’s Derek Book (5th in 44:51) and Roque Zubia (10th in 48:20), as well as Greencastle’s Matthew Smith (6th in 44:59), also logged top finishes. As for the Solstice 5K, Chambersburg’s Sean Collier led the way with a fourth-place finish in 21:36, and was chased by Greencastle’s Landon Michalak (8th in 23:17) and Chambersburg’s Shelby White (10th in 23:34), as well as Fayetteville’s Stephanie George, who finished as third female in 26:55.

A handful of area runners fueled up their cars to take on a few popular destination races. The Ellwood City Festival 10K saw finishes from Hagerstown’s Kaylin Kloos (57:01) and Mark Smith (1:12:27), while Fairfield’s Beverly Black (27:26) and Ronald Black (27:29) were finishers at the MCRRC Country Road Run 5K in Dickerson, Md. The Firecracker 5K, held in Bethany Beach, Del., saw Greencastle’s Ryan Yoder (26:18), Alex Yoder (26:41), Kalli Yoder (27:31), and Sophie Yoder (30:18) all cross the finish line. 

Locals have also been active in the world of competitive mountain bike racing, as evidenced by participation in last weekend’s Michaux MTB Marathon. David Wilson, of Chambersburg, led the way with a finish in 2:50:53. He was chased by Chambersburg’s Gabriel Brandt (3:05:30) and Randy Brandt (4:04:29), Waynesboro’s Richard Bohn (3:38:04) and Denny J Mitts (5:12:53), and Mont Alto’s Craig Rotz (6:12:34).

A number of others were active in races across the region and beyond, including Greencastle’s Danielle DeFelice (1:50:48 at Sproul 10K) and Hagerstown’s Michael Stutts (37:02 at Luau 5K) and Keidra Greene (43:16 at Run for Roses 5K).

And now, a look ahead: 

Pirate 1M/5K/10K: Saturday, 8:30 a.m., in New Cumberland. Challenge yourself with this event, put on by US Road Running. Find the race on

Tim & Susan Cook Memorial Race: Saturday, July 13, 8 a.m., in Chambersburg. Test out your speed in this one-mile race, which starts at CAMS South and ends at Trojan Stadium. Check out the event on

Harrisburg Mile: Wednesday, July 17, 5 p.m., in Harrisburg. Expect hundreds of competitors to turn out for this race, part of the Harrisburg YMCA Race Series. Register for the race on

Also: Summerfair 5K (Saturday, in Carlisle); Ironstone 100K (Saturday, July 13, in Hollidaysburg); Ninja 1M/5K/10K/15K/Half (Saturday, July 13, in York); Spartan Race Palmerton (Saturday, July 13, in Palmerton); Viaduct Trail Ultramarathon (Saturday, July 13, in Lanesboro); Blobfest Half Marathon (Saturday, July 13, in Phoenixville); Women’s Philadelphia Triathlon (Sunday, July 14, in Philadelphia).

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